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Pregame Projection: Pittsburgh Steelers versus Tennessee Titans

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On Sunday, September 8, the Pittsburgh Steelers will open the 2013 NFL Season by hosting the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The AFC rivals will square off for their sixth consecutive season meetings. Both teams are coming off of mediocre seasons, 6-10 and 8-8 records respectively, and both have the desire to improve their overall performance following 2012 seasons where both missed the playoffs. Following draft pick, free agent moves and the addition of new personnel, the Steelers and Titans will battle to get a win to start off the new year in better fashion. In this list, we will look at how the two teams stack up against each other in a pregame projection.

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The Steelers lead the series between the Tennessee Titans (and when Tennessee was first the Houston Oilers), 44-31. The two teams have faced off on opening day five times in their history. Once AFC Central Division rivals following the NFL and AFL merger, the Steelers and Oilers battled to get to the top against the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. Although no longer division rivals, games between the two teams are generally hard-fought battles of history, pride and stair steps to the top of the AFC Conference.

"We want to start this season off rolling in the right direction," said linebacker Larry Foote. "We are excited. A lot of people have been dogging us, we're used to that, but it's going to be a big challenge against the Titans." The motivation is exacerbated following losses the last two seasons on opening day, although the Steelers have won their last 10 home openers and hold the longest active streak in the NFL. Cornerback Cortez Allen may have emphasized the importance of the game best when he said, "It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the season."

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